This paper presents the experimental investigation of the flow in an aggressive inter-turbine duct (AITD). The goal is to improve the understanding of the flow mechanisms within the AITD and of the underlying physics of low-profile vortex generators (LPVGs).
The flow structures in the AITD are dominated by counter-rotating vortices and boundary layer separations in both the casing and hub regions. At the first bend of the AITD, the casing boundary layer separates in a 3D mode because of the upstream wakes; this is followed by a massive 2D boundary layer separation. Due to the effect of the radial pressure gradient at the first bend, the streamwise vorticity generated by the casing 3D separation stays close to the casing endwall, and later mixes with the casing counter-rotating vortices formed at the second bend.
By using LPVGs with different configurations installed on the casing, the casing boundary layer separation is significantly reduced. The streamwise vortices generated by the LPVGs have the potential to generate another pair of counter-rotating vortices at the AITD second bend, which help to delay/prevent the boundary layer separation. Therefore, the total pressure loss in the AITD was significantly reduced.